You have to sell the contact. It’s for the kids.
Nowitzki was dribbling down the field when a player from the opposing team came within a 10-foot radius of his position. What’s a guy to do? Hit the deck, obviously.
All seven feet of the Dallas Mavericks forward fell awkwardly onto the pitch in a tumble of long, goofy limbs. It wasn’t Nowitzki’s best work, and the referees allowed play to resume without a hitch. And while Nowitzki didn’t get the call he was looking for, the game as a whole provided us with some amazing photographs of the German flailing his arms, kicking balls and throwing his body on teammates in celebration.
Image via AP
Image via AP
It’s worth noting that Mark Cuban might’ve put the big man up to this. The Mavericks owner has taken a keen interest in the science of flopping, and his company Radical Hoops Ltd. recently awarded over $100,000 in grant money to Southern Methodist University to fund research into the practice of flopping in athletics.
Perhaps Cuban wanted to increase his sample size to include Premier League soccer and was just putting out a feeler with Nowitzki in this game. Otherwise, we’ll have to assume Nowitzki was trying to make some sort of statement about the nature of the NBA, and its players’ need to fall over in the face of certain failure.
Either way, Nowitzki was flopping for a good cause—the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which raises money for children in Germany who grow up in impoverished homes.
If only flopping could always be so philanthropic. Shane Battier alone could erase world poverty.